Accra, Jan 21 (EFE).- At least 17 people have died, and dozens have suffered injuries in a massive explosion caused by a collision between an explosive-laden vehicle and a motorcycle in western Ghana, officials said on Friday.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said the overnight disaster in the western region of Bogoso resulted “in the loss of lives and the destruction of properties belonging to residents.”
The president said the incident was “truly sad, unfortunate and tragic” that caused injuries to 59 people in Apiate, some 300 km (180 miles) west of Accra.
“I extend, on behalf of Government, deep condolences to the families of the deceased, and I wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
The explosion blew up much of the township as dozens of buildings got reduced to rubble after the collision involving a vehicle carrying explosives used in mining and a motorcycle.
The president said his government would “spare no effort to ensure a rapid return to a situation of normalcy for residents of Apiate.”
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said, in a statement, that of the 59 injured, 42 were receiving treatment in hospitals, and some were in “critical condition.”
“A total of 17 people have unfortunately been confirmed dead,” Nkrumah said in a statement.
The explosive-laden truck was en route from Tarkwa to the Chirano gold mine, run by Canada-based Kinross.
Police urged calm and asked people to stay away from the site as authorities pressed into service scores of firefighters to put out the flames sparked by the explosion.
“The police and other emergency service providers have activated a full emergency recovery exercise,” a police statement said.
The police appealed to nearby towns to open up their “classrooms, churches to accommodate surviving victims.” EFE